Northwest NEWS

September 27, 1999

Editorial

Biggest parking lots in the nation will be I-5, I-405, I-90, SR-520

   Highway parking lots will be one of the effects of I-695. This will be a result of the $880 million transportation fund loss in the 1999-2001 biennium. This includes slashes in mass transit. Metro King County alone loses 29% of their budget (not 2%).

   The wiped-out funding for R-49 is one of the other amazing consequences of this initiative, given we just passed this initiative last year to fix our road problems.

   I guess we can afford to lose a thousand police officers, because all of us will be in that traffic jam and unable to commit crime, like road rage. This also means about 47,000 warrants statewide will remain unserved.

   Like police, firefighters will also be cut, putting more strain on each station and slowing response time, which may cause an increase in your fire insurance premiums. Open positions will not be filled, and retirees will not be replaced, causing the average age of firefighters to increase.

   I-695 supporters claim that local governments have a $3 billion surplus. This is a lie. They are claiming that money that is already acounted for, but has not been spent, is a surplus. That is like saying that you have a surplus the week before you pay your mortgage, so you can go ahead and spend that money.

   Small towns lose the most. Because of a 40% budget cut, growing communities will not be able to staff their offices, contract police services, build parks and may be forced to unincorporated due to the lack of the sales tax equilization dollars from the MVET fund.

   I could go on and on about the services we depend on that will be cut. I only hope before you vote you realize that with the MVET, you do get what you pay for.

   Let us defeat this poorly realized initiative and demand that our representatives fix the number one complaint, that is, the way our vehicles are assessed.

Jim Jackson, Woodinville